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Sonja Lyubomirsky

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Sonja Lyubomirsky
Born (1966-12-14) December 14, 1966 (age 57)
Scientific career
ThesisThe hedonic consequences of social comparison: implications for enduring happiness and transient mood (1994)
Academic advisorsLee Ross
Susan Nolen-Hoeksema

Sonja Lyubomirsky (Russian: Соня Любомирская, born December 14, 1966)[1] is a Russian-born American professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside[2] and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.[3]


Lyubomirsky received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University.[4]


Lyubomirsky has received a John Templeton Foundation grant, a Science of Generosity grant, a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and a million-dollar grant (with Ken Sheldon) from the National Institute of Mental Health.[4] In 2021, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel.[5]

The How of Happiness[edit]

Breakdown of sources of happiness, according to The How of Happiness

  Genetic (50%)
  Intentional activity (40%)
  Circumstance (10%)

The How of Happiness was published in 2008 by Penguin Press.[6] The book has been translated into 22 languages.[4]

The premise of The How of Happiness is that 50 percent of a given human's long-term happiness level is genetically determined,[7] 10 percent is affected by life circumstances and situation, and a remaining 40 percent of happiness is subject to self control.[8][9][10][11]

The How of Happiness led to an iPhone application called Live Happy, produced by Signal Patterns. Lyubomirsky is on the company's scientific advisory board.[12]

The How of Happiness has also led to a song, The How of Happiness Book Tune, a mnemonic to remember the content within the book.[13]

The Myths of Happiness[edit]

The Myths of Happiness,[14] published by Penguin Press, claims why major life events that should make a person happy don't, and that what shouldn't make us happy often does.[15][16]


  1. ^ Who's Who of American Women (2006) Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey.
  2. ^ "13 Things That Will Make You Much Happier". The Huffington Post. April 24, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "How of Happiness - Sonja Lyubomirsky". Archived from the original on June 8, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D. | Psychology Today". www.psychologytoday.com. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "Dies Academicus 2021: University of Basel presents seven female honorary doctors". University of Basel. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  6. ^ "Penguin Press - Penguin Books USA". www.penguin.com. Archived from the original on May 24, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). April 14, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 14, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  8. ^ Halpern, Sue. "Are You Happy?". nybooks.com. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "The How of Happiness - Sonja Lyubomirsky - Penguin Group (USA)". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008.
  10. ^ "UCR professor takes scientific approach to happiness | Riverside | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California". Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  11. ^ "Happiness: A Choice We Make". The Huffington Post. April 11, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "Signal Patterns | Scientific Advisory Board". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  13. ^ "Sonja Lyubomirsky". Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "2 ways to achieve a lifetime of happiness". Business Insider. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "'The Myths of Happiness': Do you know where to find it?". TODAY.com. January 2, 2013. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn't; What Shouldn't Make You Happy, but Does by Sonja Lyubomirsky: Review | Toronto Star". thestar.com. January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2016.

External links[edit]